Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Shimer on Wikipedia's front page right now

Until midnight GMT (7 PM tomorrow), Shimer College will be featured on the main page of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, in honor of the 158th anniversary of Shimer's founding.

In the words of alum Chris Vaughan, without whose yeoman labors this achievement would have been impossible, "A very special honor for our very special school."

Board approves Assembly's mission statement

Thanks to David Shiner, we learn today that on Friday May 6, the Board of Trustees adopted a slightly modified version of the mission statement that was approved by the Assembly last year. Here is Shimer's new mission statement:

Shimer College provides and preserves education centered on discussion of enduring questions and issues. Historically influential original sources are studied through Socratic questioning, in small seminar classes and following the kind of Great Books curriculum advocated by Robert Maynard Hutchins. The core values informing education at Shimer are free inquiry, dialog, critical open-mindedness, and integration of disciplines. The College offers all members of its community the opportunity to participate meaningfully in deciding the future of the institution. A Shimer education demands much of both the intellect and the character of students, and prepares them for responsible citizenship and the examined life.


(And while I'm generally on the Assembly's side in these matters, I am depthlessly grateful to the Board for eliminating the unnecessary dashes in the Assembly version.)

Monday, May 02, 2011

158-word writing contest for students & alums

Via Sara Devila on Facebook:


I have an anonymous donor on the line who has decided to back me in a little writing contest. This writing contest is designed to do two things:

1) Talk about Shimer.

2) Talk about why the Shimer learning experience was/is important to you and how.

To enter: write a note, post a blog, write a general entry, and either tag me, email me, forward me a link so I can find it. All entries must make it to my Inbox/Facebook/Blog Comment, etc by no later than Midnight May 9th, 2011.I will collect all the entries, read everything and select the winners.

In your entry please specify if you are an Alumni or a current student. (For the record Alumni covers anyone who has attended Shimer regardless of graduation status, and current students are currently attending).

Winners will be announce on May 11th, 2011, in celebration of the 158th anniversary of Shimer College. Winning entries will be re-posted as notes here, and also on the Shimer College and the Future blog (http://www.shimercollege.blogspot.com/).

Here is the challenge:

In 158 words (no more, and no less, it's a challenge) explain how the unique Shimer learning experience has benefited you in a real world way.

Creativity is encouraged, but every entry must be based on a true personal experience.

I would like to donate all the entries (winning or otherwise) to Shimer College to be shared with potential students, current students, and alumni as a way of further spreading the word about the value of a Shimer Education. Be aware of that if you decide to enter.

Prizes: For the record I love shopping in the Shimer Bookstore (http://store.shimer.edu/stores/1/) and think you should all do that too, but for the fun of this, the Anonymous Donor has given permission to offer the following prizes to encourage you to donate your entry.

Alumni Division:

Alumni of Shimer College

1st Place: $50 dollar Amazon books gift certificate

2nd/3rd places $25 dollar Amazon books gift certificate

Student Division:

Any currently enrolled student of Shimer College

1st Place: $50 dollar Amazon books gift certificate

2nd/3rd places: $25 dollar Amazon books gift certificate

I encourage everyone to spread the word and Post Facebook Notes, Blogs, and Emails of your entry. Emails can be sent to me at saradevil <at> gmail . com. Of course my facebook is right here. So share, link, repost, tweet, etc, and let's explain to the world what we value about our Shimer learning experience, and why 158 years is just the beginning.